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  • Conversation: Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us

    • July 23, 2018 1:12 PM BST
    • Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us

      Life-threatening fungal infections affect more than two million people worldwide. Effective antifungal medications are very limited. Until now, one of the major challenges is that the fungal cell wall is poorly understood, which has impeded the development of effective antifungal medications that target the cell wall. However, an LSU chemist has identified for the first time the cell wall structure of one of the most prevalent and deadly fungi, which could usher in a new era of antifungal drug development to help save millions of lives.
      LSU Department of Chemistry Assistant Professor Tuo Wang and colleagues have identified the high-resolution architecture of the cell wall of one of the most common fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus. Aspergillus fumigatus is airborne and can be found indoors and outdoors. In people with compromised immune systems, the fungi multiplies at an extraordinary rate. It affects more than 200,000 people annually including a quarter of all leukemia patients, and kills more than half of these patients.
      "This is the first time anyone has looked at the whole cell of this fungi in its native state at such high resolution. Our work provides the molecular basis to engineer more effective antifungal drugs," Wang said.
      Read more: http://www.worldpharmanews.com/research/4492-chemists-characterize-the-fatal-fungus-among-us

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